Pollution

Decades of industrial use degraded much of the Great Lakes' shoreline and waters. In recent years, stricter regulation and ambitious cleanup campaigns have reversed that neglect, but agricultural runoff remains a serious problem.

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The holiday season can be a happy time for many. But it may cause trouble for the environment.


Avery Schneider/WBFO News

After seeing Donald Trump's appointees for agencies such as the EPA, Rep. Brian Higgins is concerned that the new administration will roll back environmental protections.

The Western New York Democrat is a longtime leader in revitalizing Buffalo's waterfront. In an interview Monday with WBFO, he noted that there have been have been many successes, including the revival of the once-dead Buffalo River.

"People have become complacent. ... " he added. "Now they're going to get blind-sided."

A year ago, Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency because of lead-contaminated drinking water, attracting national outrage and sympathy, and millions of gallons of donated water.

But a year later donations have slowed to a trickle, and little has changed — unfiltered water here is still unsafe to drink.

ANGELICA A. MORRISON

Every year, hundreds of volunteers work to clear plastic bags and other garbage from areas along the Great Lakes and its tributaries.


The $40 million fine that Princess Cruise Lines will pay to settle criminal allegations of illegal dumping illustrates a much broader problem. It impacts the Great Lakes and waters all around the United States, Great Lakes Today Managing Editor Dave Rosenthal told Here & Now in an interview.

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